“I apologize, Your Highness, but I cannot reveal my Master’s identity,” said General Damian hesitantly.
“Why? Is your Master not a citizen of Ryūthor Kingdom?” asked the Third Prince suspiciously.
“No, Your Highness, Master is a true citizen of Ryūthor Kingdom. My Master’s best interests are with the Ryūthor Kingdom,” said General Damian almost immediately. He then said, “Master has been secluded over the years. Master has not appeared before anyone for more than a decade. Master has never spoken to anyone other than me for a very long time.”
“With such knowledge about military strategy, why is your Master not in the war base and living in seclusion?” asked the Third Prince.
“Master cannot be anywhere near battlegrounds or war base due to Master’s age. Master’s age is not compatible with the age requirements for being in the war base,” said General Damian.
Battlegrounds have an age restriction of 18-50 whereas the war base has an age restriction of 16-60. Anyone who doesn’t fall under this age category is deemed to be not compatible with the age requirements.
“Hmm, if your Master had predicted this sneak attack, then your Master must have a strategy in mind that can hold off the borders. What is your Master’s strategy?” nodded and asked the Third Prince.
“Master’s exact words are: Next, they will wait for our frontal assault. We have been known for our frontal assaults. This time, Hebista would send huge forces to tackle us, both in numbers and strength. The strongest warriors of Hebista are expected to be in the front lines. Hebista will be almost defenceless during this battle. We will take them by surprise with stealthy flank assault from both sides. We need not finish this battle soon; we will have to prolong as much as possible,” said General Damian.
“Prolong? Why?” asked General Neil.
“While we prolong the battle, there will be separate units that will stealthily enter Hebista and cut off their entire supply of food rations and water resources. Master asked us to prolong the battle until our units have cut off all their supplies and then end the battle with a fatal strike to all the strongest warriors of Hebista,” said General Damian.
“Fatal strike? Kill? Those 3 Great Generals of Hebista?” asked General Neil.
“Master said to deal a fatal strike to the 3 Great Generals of Hebista, kill if you have the opportunity to do it without losing your lives or incapacitate them permanently. The discretion to kill or incapacitate is entirely with the Generals in the battle. None of the Generals can afford to lose their lives in this battle, both Great Generals and Generals. Loss of even one General can decrease the time we can hold off the borders for,” said General Damian.
“Cutting off their supplies, fatal blow to the 3 Great Generals of Hebista and protecting the Great Generals and Generals of Ryūthor Kingdom. Can this really hold them off for two years?” asked General Neil.
“Without supplies, people in Hebista would start consuming their rations in small quantities. Slowly, with no more rations, people will start demanding, protesting, and rioting. They will face internal strife and war. Hebista has never been good with strategies and has an insurmountable ego. They will take a few months before they request rations from other Kingdoms. Since we would cut off all of their large supplies, it will take more than a year for them to acquire enough rations for everyone in the Kingdom. By the time they accumulate enough rations and start trying to get back the supplies we have cut off, it will already have been more than 18 months. After that, it will all depend on how fast they can get back their supplies and fortify their defences before starting to attack the borders again,” concluded the Third Prince. He then said, “With such a detailed predictive strategy, holding off the borders for almost two years is not an exaggeration.”
“Yes, Your Highness. Master has also told me that the discretion of positioning of the warriors during the battle and the entire strategy will be in the hands of the Great General, Your Highness yourself. I have relayed the entire message, Your Highness,” said General Damian.
‘Once this is all over, I will have to meet this Master personally and convey my gratitude. This Master is quite mysterious,’ thought the Third Prince.
“Alright. I must report to the King today. After reporting, we will move out at once, during the night,” said the Third Prince. He then ordered, “This strategy shall be known only to us and the King. No one else is to know about it. Not until we weed out the traitors.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” answered General Damian and General Neil together.
“You are dismissed. Be here at night,” ordered the Third Prince.
“Yes, Your Highness,” answered General Damian and General Neil together before turning around and leaving the study room and the Third Prince’s Palace. They took their horses from the stall and left their own ways.
The Third Prince took his horse and left for the Royal Palace. Advisor Jacob followed the Third Prince almost everywhere, so he went to the Royal Palace along with the Third Prince. Once they reached the Royal Palace, they headed straight to the King’s study room. The Third Prince went inside the study room while Advisor Jacob stood out to wait for the Third Prince to come out.
The Third Prince greeted his father, the King, after entering the study room. He then started reporting everything that had happened since the last time he had come to the Capital. There are many towns in a Kingdom and the town in which the Royal Palace is situated is known as Capital. It is a usual routine for the Third Prince to report everything that had happened, every time he returned to the Capital. This time, there was an additional report to make, which was not in his original report until today. Once he reported everything to the King, he took leave from the King and left the study room.
Advisor Jacob, who had been waiting for almost three hours, saw the Third Prince come out of the study room. He then asked, “What did His Majesty say, Your Highness?”
The Third Prince said as he walked out of the Royal Palace, “His Majesty agrees with the strategy and ordered us to accomplish it without any compromise. His Majesty has allowed us to use the Six Great Generals of Ryūthor Kingdom at my discretion in the upcoming battle.”
“What are we doing next, Your Highness?” asked Advisor Jacob.
“Return to my palace, make arrangements for the upcoming battle and leave for the war base when General Neil and General Damian arrive,” said the Third Prince.
Elsewhere, General Neil went to his house to see his family. It’s been months since he last saw his family.
General Damian went to his manor and before going into his room, he walked towards a certain room, which is secluded from every other room in the manor. He looked around and saw that no one was around. He then went inside and saw that there was only one person inside the room, sitting on the bed seemingly waiting for some news. He closed the door and started speaking in a low voice which can be heard only by the person inside the room. He said, “I have relayed your message. Everything will go according to your plan.”
“Good,” said the person, relieved to hear the message.
“Is there anything else I can do?” asked General Damian.
“No. Go and get ready for the upcoming battle,” said the person in a gruff voice.
“Yes, Master,” said General Damian before leaving the room and heading to his own room to prepare for the battle.